About this website, with a little about me

I am recently retired from teaching sociology and social research. I taught at universities in Canada before returning to Britain, and eventually, on retirement, to my native Scotland. Now I do occasional pieces of research and teaching, write articles and a blog, and work on family history - my own, and other people’s too. I volunteer at a local family history society, and will undertake research commissions dealing with Scottish Family History.

This website is about my family history.

Some decades ago now, when I was undertaking post-graduate study, I wrote a paper for a family history course. In this I described what I could find of the families of whom I am a representative, and attempted to set them in a historical, geographical and social context, as artisans (more or less) in Scotland during the time of industrialisation; converging on the Glasgow area, though my own parents moved to Dundee.

Eventually I took up this study again, helped by the much better availability of records, and by my return to the UK. 

I re-acquired a complete copy of that initial document and have uploaded much of it here, as a set of chapters. It is not complete. As I was doing this, I was also finding so many ‘new’ things. I took a decision initially to point out inconsistencies and errors as ‘[Ed.note: ..]’ but retain the material as it was when I wrote it, adding longer comments in footnotes identified as ‘new’.

But what I was finding now was so much more accurate, had so much more detail, went so much further back and so gave so much more of that history I sought! So, I started to create ‘additional’ pages which held these new things - they rapidly took over. I’m still doing this.

Pages are linked from a table of contents currently at http://www.wyrdswell.co.uk/ancestors/oldtoc.html. This indexes both the original and the ‘new’ documents. Please remember that the original material I wrote was, initially, a paper for post-graduate credit. I hope that you, the readers, may find it useful, persist with reading it, and contribute your comments and, hopefully, further information… you can use the contact form on this page, or email me from the link in the page footer.

I’m updating the site design and so this is a ‘new’  index page. When you go into the ‘old’ pages and link from them back to the table of contents it will bring you back here - so you can easily return to the old table of contents to return to the older pages, until they are eventually all revised. 

I do some genealogical work for others and there is information at wyrdswell.co.uk/bgs/ - ‘Blain genealogical services’.

© Jenny Blain 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2022   email me